On Monday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) toured Foster Farms’ Livingston, California, chicken processing facility. Vilsack, Costa and local political leaders met with Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster and company executives for a briefing on Foster Farms’ comprehensive food safety program, including innovative genetic research to further control Salmonella prevalence.

Following the tour, Rep. Costa said, “I applaud Foster Farms for its investment in expertise and technology, and its commitment to producing some of the safest and healthiest poultry products in the country. It is an honor to have Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack here to see firsthand and acknowledge the efforts of Foster Farms and its employees for setting new standards and leading the poultry industry in food safety.”

In a press briefing held on Tuesday morning, the Secretary said, “I appreciated… the opportunity to visit Foster Farms and to talk to them about their $125 million investment. What I was most impressed with was the fact that they are now sharing information about lower Salmonella levels with not just their own internal communications but have seen fit to actually share that information with others including competitors which I think is a reflection of how we ought to be focusing on food safety. We all have to be focused on food safety.”

“It was an honor to have Secretary Vilsack visit my family’s business and recognize our commitment to food safety,” said Ron Foster, CEO of Foster Farms. “Our entire team works hard to ensure quality and safety every step of the way from the farm through the plant, to the store.”

Since April 2014, Foster Farms has maintained a companywide Salmonella prevalence level of less than five percent. This is the result of a comprehensive food safety program that reduced Salmonella levels system-wide from the breeders, to the farms where the birds are raised and to the plants where the chicken is processed and packaged. The program included improvements to equipment and processes, the implementation of a continuous testing program and food safety education.

Source: Foster Farms